After several procedures and getting through critical condition in ICU, dad was placed on the liver transplant list today and is now waiting for a new liver. While my dad is on the list, he can still be removed from becoming too sick to undergo transplant; but we hope and pray the process will go smoothly and that he will not have to wait too long due to his current condition. His MELD score ( MELD score helps to estimate prognosis for patients with end-stage liver disease, and is used to prioritize transplant recipients) is 45 per the liver coordinator, which ranks as “gravely ill” and should help place him as high priority.
After being off the ventilator, dad is still constantly mumbling. He’s always smiling, “a smile so big it lights up the room” (quote from RN, M.N.). Mom and dad’s sister (Tita Marina) stayed with him last night. He smiles bigger when he hears their voices.
How organ matching works
When a patient is “added to the list,” a transplant hospital adds a patient’s medical information into UNOS’ computer system. When a deceased organ donor is identified, UNOS’ computer system generates a ranked list of transplant candidates, or “matches”, based on blood type, tissue type, medical urgency, waiting time, expected benefit, geography and other medical criteria.
In the United States, livers are generally allocated within a local area first, followed by regional, and then national. The allocation system attempts to give donated livers first to the sickest candidates who are nearby before offering them to a broader geographic area, in an effort to place the livers quickly and avoid long shipping times (for a brief summary of the liver allocation policy, click here, and for the full policy, click here).
- You can be a donor at any age.
- Celebrity or financial status are not factors in getting a transplant.
- Donation is possible with many medical conditions.
- All major religions approve of organ and tissue donation.
- A national computer system and strict standards are in place to ensure ethical and fair distribution of organs.
- A healthy person can become a living donor by donating a kidney, or a part of the liver, lung, intestine, blood or bone marrow.